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To-Do Bracelet: Prototype 1.0

For our first assignment in Prototyping User Experiences class, featuring the guys from Frog Design, we were to bring in a sample of a physical material that we were drawn to in both touch and feel. This and the remaining prototypes that follow would all fall under the topic of awareness/mindfulness.

Prototyping the To-Do Bracelet

Prototyping the To-Do Bracelet

For my physical material, I picked Buddhist beads, which are used to help people meditate and stay focused while repeating mantras. As people chant, they slide from one bead to the other using their thumb and index finger. The material is wood and wears down over time as one repeats the action.

My first idea, is a tangible to-do bracelet. It would be a shorter version of the beaded necklace, pictured abov,e and would wrap around the wrist. The bracelet would be held together by an elastic band. Each wooden bead would correspond to a to-do item.

Here’s a quick user scenario:
If you have completed all your tasks, your bracelet would not have any beads on it. Prior to starting your day, you place a bead, which corresponds to a to-do item, onto your bracelet. As you accomplish each to-do item, you remove the corresponding bead. The beads on the bracelet serve as a reminder that you have tasks to accomplish that day.

Observations
After wearing the beaded bracelet around for a day, I noticed:

  • The loose ends of the bracelet reminded me that the bracelet was there
  • The sound created by the bracelet served as a secondary reminder
  • The weight of the bracelet was noticeable, but wasn’t heavy enough to disrupt me from my daily activities

Observations from others included:

  • It had a known presence
  • It kept him mindful about what he was supposed to do
  • Served as a way to stay entertained
  • One of the problems was that it was bulky and could be smaller

Initial Thoughts on the Key Design Features
After receiving feedback from others on the to-do bracelet, I’ve come to the conclusion that the beads should always stay on the bracelet. Instead of removing a bead to signify that you’ve completed it’s respective to-do item, the user would gently squeeze the bead for a short moment, which will then cause the bead to go from a glowing state to a dimming out state. By requiring users to remove/add a bead, we are requiring too much attention from users.

One question that arises in this tangible to-do list is how can we associate a bead to a particular to-do item? Some ideas such as displaying an icon on a bead would remind users of that specific task, but what if the task was a bit more complex and required something more than an icon? I will have to come back to this question later.

Data/Behavior Captured
The bracelet reminds people that they have things to accomplish. With so many distractions nowadays, people tend to forget things and/or use those distractions as reasons to procrastinate in whatever they have initially set out to accomplish.

24 Bead Watch (a totally different idea)
Another idea I have in mind is a bracelet with 24 beads. Each bead would represent each hour of the day. When a bead changes state from on to off, it signifies the passing of an hour. Again, this bracelet would have all the characteristics of the bracelet described above (weight, sound, and feel). Some key ideas behind this concept are:

  • Users will be able “see” each hour.
  • Users will be able to “feel” each hour.
  • At a system’s perspective, users get a sense of how much time has passed.
  • As the bracelet (as a whole) slowly dims out throughout the day, it represents the user’s physical/mental state, reminding the user that perhaps they should get some rest.
  • Users will be able to change the hour in which the day starts (when all 24 beads are on).
  • Users can reverse the glowing/dimming of the beads so that when an hour passes, a bead turns on rather than off. As the bracelet gets brighter, it becomes a light source for the latter part of the day.

Data/Behavior Captured
Somewhat like the to-do bracelet, this bracelet reminds people that a day is 24 hours short and that every hour is precious. It also serves as a mental regulator in a sense that the bracelet provides a visual representation of the day on their wrist.

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  • 26 Feb 2010

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